bit-tech.net

Don’t be fooled by Laptop CPUs

Posted on 25th May 2013 at 16:31 by Antony Leather with 64 comments

Antony Leather
I was speaking to a friend recently and we started discussing laptops. Specifically, he wanted something to replace his desktop PC, which sported an Intel Core-i3 2100 Sandy Bridge CPU.

He was moving to a flat and didn’t have the space for a PC, but still wanted something with some grunt to edit photos and videos. He’d clearly given it some consideration, but I was shocked when he started quoting laptop specs and how he thought they’d be twice or even three times as fast as his PC.

I’ve blogged previously about Intel’s CPU naming strategy and its pitfalls. My gripe was that it has far too many names for its CPUs, not to mention CPU sockets and chipsets as well. However, another area that is apparently confusing people is laptops, although here the issue is perhaps even more serious. The problem is that many people I speak to simply don’t realise that there’s a big difference in performance between laptop CPUs and those found in desktops.

For example, many £1,000 performance laptops are equipped with an Intel Core i7 CPU. You might think it’s reasonable to assume, then, that this high-end CPU would have similar performance to a Core i7 CPU that’s found in a desktop PC? Those in the know will probably know the answer but it came as quite a shock when I told my friend his £1,000 laptop wouldn’t just be a bit slower, but would actually be inferior in many tests to a £90 Core i3 desktop CPU.

Don’t be fooled by Laptop CPUs *Don’t be fooled by Laptop CPUs
Gaming laptops are all very well, but aside from upgrade issues and expense, their CPUs are far less powerful than desktop ones.

Even if you suspected that on average most desktop CPUs would be faster than most laptop CPUs, did you really know that the difference was quite so extreme and that even a really high end laptop CPU could actually be slower than a pretty basic desktop one? It’s a stark comparison that’s easy to forget, especially if you’re considering a desktop replacement laptop.

The fact of the matter is that if you have a mid-range PC with a Core i5 CPU such as the popular Core i5-2500K, even the very fastest laptop CPUs will struggle to keep up. That is of course before you overclock your PC, where even a fairly standard 4.4GHz overclock would render your PC impervious to practically any currently available laptop, running rings round anything that costs less than £2,000.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a fair argument if I didn’t have some proof. Take, for example Alienware’s M17X gaming laptop. It sports an Intel Core i7-3610QM, which turbo-boosts to a frequency of 3.4GHz and the whole laptop costs upwards of £1,500.

Don’t be fooled by Laptop CPUs *Don’t be fooled by Laptop CPUs
Click to enlarge

As you can see, in our image editing test, even the Core i3-3220 - a £90 desktop CPU, is faster than the Core i7-3610QM, with the likes of the Core i5-3570K comfortably outperforming it, even at their stock speeds. It was a similar story in our multi-tasking tests and only in the video encoding test was the Core i7 laptop CPU faster than the Core i3, but even there, the deskop Core i5-3570K was in a different league.

Of course, one flipside to all this is that most CPUs nowadays, whether laptop or desktop are plenty fast enough for day to day tasks, and can even cope with a bit of gaming, so who cares if there's more performance in a desktop. Right? Well, yes, that is true but as anyone that has had Firefox crawl to a halt because of too many tabs or had Premiere merrily tell you that the simple render you just set going will take three hours to complete can attest, it doesn't take too much to start making you wish for more power.

Personally, I avoid doing demanding tasks when I’m out and about, for the simple reason that I’ll be wasting time - the 4.5GHz Core i5-3570K sitting in my PC at home means that even if I decided to splash £1,500 on a laptop, demanding tasks such as video and image editing will still take considerably longer.

I can appreciate that some people don’t have the room for a full-size PC, but you don’t need a huge case to own a powerful system these days. Many mini-ITX cases actually have smaller footprints than laptops and the latest tiny motherboards can overclock CPUs just as well as their larger brothers.

So next time you're weighing up the options on whether to go for a laptop, just remember to double check if it really will deliver all the performance you need or whether your money would be better spent on a desktop and a cheaper, non-performance laptop.

TL;DR - Don't be fooled into thinking that a bigger number is always better!

Have you bought a laptop as a desktop replacement? Let us know how it has worked out for you in the forum.

64 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
GoodBytes 25th May 2013, 17:47 Quote
Yup, laptop processors (GPU and CPU) are far behind the performance of a desktop version. The model name just says the architecture. Although, sometimes (mostly GPUs) they are exceptions in that you get a previous generation architecture with the name of the current desktop architecture.

The big reason for the slow down, is the requirement that is needed to be done on the CPU to consume drastically less power, and reduce heat.

Another effect, is the OEM butchering, specially on the GPU side.
Many time OEMs uses older memory (DDR2 instead of DDR3 for example), and/or much slower memory than what the GPU is suppose to have. And also, many times they slow down the GPU.
They do this for a several reason: Keep cost down by using memory chips they already have, so that they don't get thrown away, and as for the GPU down-clock, reduce heat, or increase battery life, without actually upgrading the battery to something better, to again reduce cost (or maximize profit).


It is critical to check reviews on laptop, making sure you get what you are suppose to get.
SchizoFrog 25th May 2013, 18:01 Quote
I am interested in benchmarking my Laptop against my PC... What benchmark suite would you recommend to not only test the CPU, but the GPU and then the whole system together? PCMark 8?
AiA 25th May 2013, 18:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
I am interested in benchmarking my Laptop against my PC... What benchmark suite would you recommend to not only test the CPU, but the GPU and then the whole system together? PCMark 8?

well custompc have there own that you can use
i think it does quiet a few things
and then you can use something like x3: demo for the graphics side

i think this is an old benchmark
http://www.bit-tech.net/blog/2009/10/26/download-the-custompc-media-benchmarks-here/
so they might have updated it since then
SchizoFrog 25th May 2013, 18:43 Quote
I sure hope it's been updated, that download is dated 2007. lol
Thanks any way for the info, I'll wait to see what B-T suggest.
mystvearn 25th May 2013, 18:43 Quote
Smaller PC's will be the norm. Just look at the PC's on sale in Currys. Those Acer have small footprint. The only problem is I want to build a good gaming pc with a HTPC, in a case smaller than the BitFenix Prodigy, which seems impossible with off the shelf item. Something as big as the Alienware X51.

The only method I see is the use of AMD APU, A10 processor. Then you can sort of ditch the graphic card and put it in a very small case.
Yslen 25th May 2013, 18:46 Quote
I didn't realise they were quite that bad. I thought the i7 was still pretty nippy because it has hyperthreading, so performs well compared to desktop i3 and i5 parts. Apparently not!

Interesting, considering that geekbench shows i7 macs powering ahead of anything except i7 or above desktop machines. Then again, we've all known that's a totally inaccurate benchmark for a while...
Yslen 25th May 2013, 18:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
I sure hope it's been updated, that download is dated 2007. lol
Thanks any way for the info, I'll wait to see what B-T suggest.

It is the same benchmark suite used in 2007. It's a real-world benchmark though, so it's still perfectly valid. It's actually the most accurate set of benchmarks I've used, and I've tried most of them at one time or another.

Sorry for double post!
SchizoFrog 25th May 2013, 18:51 Quote
OK, cheers Yslen...
RedFlames 25th May 2013, 19:01 Quote
This also affects all-in-ones and some SFF PCs [also the non-'pro' Macs, though apple don't cut as many corners] as they use laptop and/or the ultra low-voltage parts to keep temperatures and the need for fans to a minimum...
Star*Dagger 25th May 2013, 20:06 Quote
Any gamer could tell you this, NEVER EVER game on a laptop.

It will be a horrible experience, period.
rollo 25th May 2013, 20:12 Quote
considering the performance you can get on a laptop these days if your willing to spend the cash its easily possible to get desktop level of performance.

sli 680m with top end intel cpu is faster than 90% of the people on here probably have.
rollo 25th May 2013, 20:15 Quote
Also costs about £3000 but thats not the point you can get a good experience if you can afford it.
Hustler 25th May 2013, 20:16 Quote
Lol @ FX8150

I know that wasn't the point of this article, but......
SchizoFrog 25th May 2013, 20:39 Quote
Rollo, I think you completely missed the point of this article. It wasn't comparing GPUs as it says CPU in the title and compares the difference between mobile and desktop products and how misleading they can be.

As for Star*Dagger, are you a dick on every article or just having a bad day?
jrs77 25th May 2013, 20:53 Quote
If you don't need a laptop for mobile computing, then a mITX-system will allways be the better choice.
MrJay 25th May 2013, 21:05 Quote
Guy at work chucked £1500 at an i7 Medion Gaming laptop with a 670MX His intent was to use it at home for ReconstructME which uses a Kinekt type camera to map 3D objects in space:

http://reconstructme.net/

He was bitterly disappointed with the performance. I did tell him i could spec+ Build a comparable computer that would do a better job for 1/3rd of the price but he was seduced by the marketing : (
CowBlazed 25th May 2013, 21:08 Quote
Laptops, especially the stuff coming out from Lenovo in the $800-$900 price range can make great mobile gaming rigs compared to a similar priced desktop. Sometimes you just need everything built in, but of course that will never get you the full computing experience as having a dedicated box with endless peripherals.
SchizoFrog 25th May 2013, 21:23 Quote
Even if laptops can provide a good gaming experience you still have the issue though that they are not comparable to desktop components. Unless you NEED mobility, a small PC is definitely the way to go. Not to mention the fact that I and many others HATE using a laptop's keyboard.
Combatus 25th May 2013, 21:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
I sure hope it's been updated, that download is dated 2007. lol
Thanks any way for the info, I'll wait to see what B-T suggest.

Hi SchizoFrog. As Yslen mentioned, our benchmark is a few years old but still scales well with faster hardware and uses real-world image editing and video editing programs, not synthetic tests, so you can definitely trust it!
Shirty 25th May 2013, 22:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
As for Star*Dagger, are you a dick on every article or just having a bad day?

Both I think, but if you stop taking him even slightly seriously he can be highly amusing :)
cdb 25th May 2013, 22:55 Quote
Was the image editing done using the cpu graphics? If so I still can't see how a 2 core can beat a 4 core cpu.

As a comparison I've just benchmarked my desktop (I7 860@3.8GHz and gtx460super clocked) vs laptop (I7 3610 standard and GT650m) and the results from the CPC benchmark were

Desktop Laptop
I 1399 ....1445
V 2786 .....2784
m 1363 .....1235
0 1849 ....1821

As you can see, my quad core laptop is as near as damit as fast as my overclocked quad core desktop. I bet at equal speeds, the laptop would win.

(sorry, I think the I, V, M and O were , Image editing? Video, multi tasking and over all, but forgot to check before I closed the window)

PS I checked a few months back and my laptop uses about 45W and my desktop 200W+ to achive the same tasks.
Combatus 25th May 2013, 23:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdb
Was the image editing done using the cpu graphics? If so I still can't see how a 2 core can beat a 4 core cpu.

As a comparison I've just benchmarked my desktop (I7 860@3.8GHz and gtx460super clocked) vs laptop (I7 3610 standard and GT650m) and the results from the CPC benchmark were

Desktop Laptop
I 1399 ....1445
V 2786 .....2784
m 1363 .....1235
0 1849 ....1821

As you can see, my quad core laptop is as near as damit as fast as my overclocked quad core desktop. I bet at equal speeds, the laptop would win.

(sorry, I think the I, V, M and O were , Image editing? Video, multi tasking and over all, but forgot to check before I closed the window)

PS I checked a few months back and my laptop uses about 45W and my desktop 200W+ to achive the same tasks.

Well for starters your laptop has a modern Ivy Bridge CPU I'm guessing bought in the last 6 months, whereas your PC has a four year old CPU that we actually reviewed in 2009 - not really a fair comparison ;) Yes they're both Core i7's but that's just a name - the newer CPU in your laptop has a vastly different, superior architecture.

The fact of the matter is it's not just about the number of cores, it's about the raw power of the CPU. Laptop CPUs have to operate at lower voltages so are generally less powerful. Lots of applications still don't make proper use of more than two cores as well. The exception is video editing, where the laptop CPU we tested was faster than the Core i3 CPU. However, the Core i5 desktop processor was still much faster than the Core i7 CPU in the laptop, as it can run at much a much higher frequency.
barrkel 25th May 2013, 23:43 Quote
cdb - you're comparing a desktop CPU from 2009 with a laptop CPU from 2012, and overclocked frequency doesn't matter as much as you think it does across different architectures.

Most of the gains in CPU power in the past decade have been from architecture improvements rather than frequency bumps. I was shocked at how much faster my 3770K was than my old 920, when clocked to the same frequency - twice as fast at some tasks.
Combatus 25th May 2013, 23:48 Quote
Have a look at the Core i7 3770K cpu at the top of the graph - it uses the same architecture as the one in your laptop so is a better comparison. It managed a score nearly 500 points higher, and that's at its stock speed...
cdb 26th May 2013, 00:41 Quote
Sorry, must have missed the bit where it said you had to compare architecture of the same generation.
The 3770K is running at 3.5Ghz, so still not really a fair comparison unless you underclock it.

So all I've proved is my 4 year old oveclocked cpu is as fast as my 1year old laptop?

Maybe by the end of the year I'll have a Haswell desktop and laptop so I can try again.
true_gamer 26th May 2013, 00:45 Quote
I'm sorry, but this is crap...

I did many test with my 3920XM in my Alienware laptop, and it destroy a desktop 2600K easily. It was on par with a desktop 3770K.

The proof is in the pudding...

My thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by true_gamer
With Geekbench version 2.3.4

32bit and 64bit @ 4.2GHz :)

http://i.imgur.com/3qGii.jpg
Quote:
Originally Posted by aNuclearPidgeon
Well you've certainly aced me so far, true_gamer, on 32-bit.
http://i.imgur.com/N5Yzy.jpg
We'll see who wins on 64-bit ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by true_gamer
Geekbench shows the laptop CPU i7 3920XM at the same clock as the 2600K to be faster. :)

Now I would like someone to run geekbench on their i7 3770K at the same 4.2GHz speed, and see how my CPU compares to it. :)

http://i.imgur.com/e4so4.jpg
Valinor 26th May 2013, 01:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by true_gamer
I'm sorry, but this is crap...

I did many test with my 3920XM in my Alienware laptop, and it destroy a desktop 2600K easily. It was on par with a desktop 3770K.

*snip*

I think this shows more that geekbench isn't a good way of comparing performance than anything else...
TC93 26th May 2013, 01:51 Quote
In America the shopping channels on TV like to spread lies about how fast a laptop cpu is. Its no wonder people get confused. The TV hosts will outright lie about a product they are selling.

Yet recently on the news all I hear is how desktops are dead. Yeah right... not.

I will never give up my desktop computer for any notebook, or tablet computer. Any desktop will kill a tablet in every way. Yet we have the media fools running around claiming the desktop is dead and the tablet is the new computer.

I would also stay away from any all in one monitor type "desktops". They are just proprietary crap that can't be upgrade, and don't have the speed of a real tower desktop computer. A powerful computer requires space for a real graphics card, and a large cpu cooler for the cpu.
cdb 26th May 2013, 01:52 Quote
Why not? Surely running exactly the same tests on two items is a very good way of comparing performance?:?
Yslen 26th May 2013, 06:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valinor
I think this shows more that geekbench isn't a good way of comparing performance than anything else...

Geekbench is really inaccurate, in my opinion.

Aside from anything else, look at the time it takes to run. The bit-tech suite takes 10x longer despite being only 3 tests. That's because its a real benchmark.

Geekbench averages scores from loads of tests but if you look at the individual scores they're often totally screwed and make little sense, like a 2009 AMD CPU being quicker than a 3770k, not just fractionally, but by an order of magnitude.
thom804 26th May 2013, 08:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by true_gamer
I'm sorry, but this is crap...

I did many test with my 3920XM in my Alienware laptop, and it destroy a desktop 2600K easily. It was on par with a desktop 3770K.

If you are taking benchmarks like that as gospel......well.

Try the same tests with the CPC bench. 6 years old it may be, but it's still the best measure of a cpu i've ever used.
true_gamer 26th May 2013, 11:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thom804
If you are taking benchmarks like that as gospel......well.

Try the same tests with the CPC bench. 6 years old it may be, but it's still the best measure of a cpu i've ever used.

CPC bench is old, outdated, and doesn't utilize all cores and threads. Geekbench does... and it also is a good way of comparing cpu's to see how much gain you get from the next gen.

Also, if you check my thread, I have many other benchmarks I have used. :)
cdb 26th May 2013, 12:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
Have a look at the Core i7 3770K cpu at the top of the graph - it uses the same architecture as the one in your laptop so is a better comparison. It managed a score nearly 500 points higher, and that's at its stock speed...


Just looked at that graph again now I'm sober. The 3770K is tested at 4.8Ghz according to that graph. The 3610 is stock at 2.3Ghz, so less than half the speed, but gets 75% of the score?!?!

Even the I3 3220 runs at 3.3Ghz stock, so again not a massively fair comparison.

Run all cpus at the same speed on the same number of threads on the same test and see how they compare, that's the only way I can see that would be fair.


(And for what it's worth my 860 runs superpi1.5 at 10.43s and my 3610 at 11.38s.)
ChromeX 26th May 2013, 13:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star*Dagger
Any gamer could tell you this, NEVER EVER game on a laptop.

It will be a horrible experience, period.

Absolutely wrong. I travel a lot due to my job as an Engineering Officer for the merchant navy, so I need a laptop that can handle gaming as well as doing my day to day work. My laptop at the minute has a 3630M i7 processor and a nvidia 675M graphics card, and I max out everything at 1920x1080 full options and the only game i've noticed any slow down is metro 2033 where I get around 40 fps
true_gamer 26th May 2013, 14:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChromeX
Absolutely wrong. I travel a lot due to my job as an Engineering Officer for the merchant navy, so I need a laptop that can handle gaming as well as doing my day to day work. My laptop at the minute has a 3630M i7 processor and a nvidia 675M graphics card, and I max out everything at 1920x1080 full options and the only game i've noticed any slow down is metro 2033 where I get around 40 fps

I 100% agree! I was getting 100+ FPS in BF3 on ultra @1080p with my 2 HD7970M CFX. They maxed out every game with ease... So that guy is talking utter.... :)
rollo 26th May 2013, 15:42 Quote
Most people's laptop experience is a £300-£500 cheap as chips laptop. Those who have spent big cash on SLI laptops Ect know exactly what they are capable off.

Anandtechs CPU bench is better than bits at the moment as its more highly threaded and actually has been updated a bit. Also don't see why the odd game was not included plenty of CPU bound games out there that could of been run.
Yslen 26th May 2013, 19:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by true_gamer
I 100% agree! I was getting 100+ FPS in BF3 on ultra @1080p with my 2 HD7970M CFX. They maxed out every game with ease... So that guy is talking utter.... :)

Gaming on the vast majority of laptops won't be anything like that level of experience. The real dissapointments are those priced roughly the same as decent gaming desktops, with similarly named components. The customer is meant to think they're equivalent, but they're nowhere near as good.

Your laptop is (or was? you sold it, right?) awesome, certainly, but it's proving the point of this article quite nicely whether you like it or not. It's much, much more expensive than a desktop with an i7-3770k, the CPU it's roughly equivalent to. You spent over £3k on that thing, unless I'm mistaken, which probably double the cost of a desktop of equivalent power.

From the price and the name, the uninformed consumer would think that it would match an i7-3930 or similar, but it won't. That's the point this article is making, and I think it's a perfectly valid one.
Boogle 26th May 2013, 23:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by true_gamer
CPC bench is old, outdated, and doesn't utilize all cores and threads. Geekbench does... and it also is a good way of comparing cpu's to see how much gain you get from the next gen.

Also, if you check my thread, I have many other benchmarks I have used. :)

I agree with true_gamer here. This single benchmark is odd, especially compared to what's out there and true_gamers numerous benchies. I've informally tested my Macbook (i7-3740QM) against my (PC) desktop (i5-2500) and they're pretty damn close. It's hardly a surprising result since other than a small architecture change (SB-IB) and clock delta, the CPUs are almost identical (even turboing to the same speed):

http://ark.intel.com/products/52209/Intel-Core-i5-2500-Processor-6M-Cache-up-to-3_70-GHz
http://ark.intel.com/products/70847/Intel-Core-i7-3740QM-Processor-6M-Cache-up-to-3_70-GHz

One cherry-picked benchmark is definitely not enough to say a desktop i3 is faster than a mobile i7. The i3 is even 2 cores down, and it's not like the i3 has IB cores and the i7m has Atom cores.

I just wish the GT650 was as close to it's desktop counterpart namesake as the Intel CPUs are.
rollo 27th May 2013, 10:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yslen
Quote:
Originally Posted by true_gamer
I 100% agree! I was getting 100+ FPS in BF3 on ultra @1080p with my 2 HD7970M CFX. They maxed out every game with ease... So that guy is talking utter.... :)

Gaming on the vast majority of laptops won't be anything like that level of experience. The real dissapointments are those priced roughly the same as decent gaming desktops, with similarly named components. The customer is meant to think they're equivalent, but they're nowhere near as good.

Your laptop is (or was? you sold it, right?) awesome, certainly, but it's proving the point of this article quite nicely whether you like it or not. It's much, much more expensive than a desktop with an i7-3770k, the CPU it's roughly equivalent to. You spent over £3k on that thing, unless I'm mistaken, which probably double the cost of a desktop of equivalent power.

From the price and the name, the uninformed consumer would think that it would match an i7-3930 or similar, but it won't. That's the point this article is making, and I think it's a perfectly valid one.

The fact a gaming laptop can do that level of performance means its out there despite some people saying its impossible. All true gamer and others have done is prove if money is no object you can buy a decent spec laptop.

Desktop gaming pcs don't really exist for most of the general public its whatever pc world and company sell. Dells cheapest gaming pc is pretty expensive for what it is as well.

Overclockers and scan both sell pcs but I wonder how many people in the general population even know either site exists.

The biggest seller of pcs in the world now is Lenovo and they don't sell a single desktop gaming pc.
Highland3r 27th May 2013, 12:25 Quote
Remember back a few years when the pentium m range hit the market (followed by merom). Those CPUs kicked ass paired with a desktop based motherboard (they weren't shabby in a laptop either....) granted that's a generation or 2 ago:p

Anyway, I've always been of the belief that performance (of a laptop) is more heavily limited by things like memory speed/bandwidth hard drive speeds etc than pure CPU grunt.
Most laptops are likely to have poor memory bandwidth and slow drives (5400 rpm mechanical for example) compared to even the base level pcs.
Look at true gamers benchmarks - those show clearly mobile kit isn't that far behind when it's packaged properly.

It is true that people shouldn't just look at numbers (I.e bigger is better) but this can also apply to desktops too - a great spec of with crippled memory and disk speeds will be overall slower than a more balanced machine.
SchizoFrog 27th May 2013, 13:03 Quote
Half the people on this thread really seem to be missing the point of the article. The article and comments here are not saying that you can't get good performance from a laptop. It is stating that CPUs for Laptops are not up to the same level as their NAMED counterparts in the Desktop market. It is rather pointless to argue a point about CPU performance by stating gaming performance from high end mobile GPUs.
Vallachia 27th May 2013, 13:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
considering the performance you can get on a laptop these days if your willing to spend the cash its easily possible to get desktop level of performance.

sli 680m with top end intel cpu is faster than 90% of the people on here probably have.

NO. But you keep on believing that.
SchizoFrog 27th May 2013, 16:09 Quote
Bit-Tech, just a small question but why does the blog section have a different comment style (continuous) rather than the same as articles (paged)?
benji2412 27th May 2013, 16:26 Quote
I thought what the article was getting at was common sense. Even to non pc enthusiasts, most people I've dealt with understand a laptop has subpar performance to that of an 'equivalent' pc.
cdb 27th May 2013, 16:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Half the people on this thread really seem to be missing the point of the article. The article and comments here are not saying that you can't get good performance from a laptop. It is stating that CPUs for Laptops are not up to the same level as their NAMED counterparts in the Desktop market.

Except it then goes on to use the top of the range desktop cpu and a bottom end mobile cpu in the comparison.
lysaer 27th May 2013, 16:50 Quote
I would have actually been interested in this but one benchmark seems completely worthless

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk 2
SchizoFrog 27th May 2013, 16:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdb
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Half the people on this thread really seem to be missing the point of the article. The article and comments here are not saying that you can't get good performance from a laptop. It is stating that CPUs for Laptops are not up to the same level as their NAMED counterparts in the Desktop market.

Except it then goes on to use the top of the range desktop cpu and a bottom end mobile cpu in the comparison.

What are you talking about? The graph compares a range of CPUs from high end to a £90 i3 CPU that is also quoted as being faster in the test than the Laptop CPU which is a Quad i7, and you call that a bottom end Laptop CPU?
cdb 27th May 2013, 18:16 Quote
As far as quad core ivybridge i7s go, yes the 3630 is no where near the top end, it's basically one step up from my bottom of the range 3610.
xaser04 27th May 2013, 18:58 Quote
This is a very confusing and somewhat pointless "article / blog post or whatever".

All this "test" proves is that a laptop i7 Quad core CPU - clocked about the same as a dual core i3 with the same architecture - performs about the same in a test that doesn't utilise multiple cores/threads - the 2600K is slower than the 2500K.....

Also which CPU is actually being tested? 3610QM or 3630QM?

Note:
3610QM - 2.3-3.3Ghz
3630QM - 2.4-3.4Ghz

i3 3220 - 3.3Ghz

How about putting the laptop CPU through a test that will actually utilise all of the 8 threads the 3610QM has?

Considering the power envelopes involved the SB and on generation of mobile CPU's are extremely good. Middle level mobile quads (3720QM etc) will be virtually indistinguishable from their desktop counterparts in real world testing. The only thing they lose is overclocking potential (somewhat fixed by the QXM model).
Meanmotion 27th May 2013, 21:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Bit-Tech, just a small question but why does the blog section have a different comment style (continuous) rather than the same as articles (paged)?

I honestly don't know. It was designed long before I took over. I think the narrow width is to make the page look better when posting short blog posts. Not sure about the endless comments, though.
DbD 28th May 2013, 11:07 Quote
You should really have used an i7-3740QM as that's the sort of cpu you'd get in that priced laptop these days - that's got a base clock at 2.7Ghz.
Shirty 28th May 2013, 13:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Half the people on this thread really seem to be missing the point of the article. The article and comments here are not saying that you can't get good performance from a laptop. It is stating that CPUs for Laptops are not up to the same level as their NAMED counterparts in the Desktop market. It is rather pointless to argue a point about CPU performance by stating gaming performance from high end mobile GPUs.

I've been thinking this since the first few confused comments appeared. With identical clock speeds, number of threads and architecture then the difference between a desktop and mobile CPU will be negligible.

I read the point of the article as suggesting that high end laptop CPUs are essentially lower voltage/clock speed variants of mid range desktop parts, and so on down the scale.

They cost more because they have to be engineered more carefully to allow for suitable power consumption, but nobody is suggesting anywhere that desktop CPUs are better than mobile ones. They are just cheaper for the equivalent performance.

There is no way you could cram an i7-3970X into a laptop form factor, so it's understandable that Intel had to re-jig the part numbers for mobile otherwise they would not have been able to offer high end parts by name.
Ergath 28th May 2013, 14:13 Quote
Re mobile gaming, since I had kids (yeah, I know), most of my gaming has been done on the train or during lunchtime. As a result I've played many hours on my i3 Lenovo X121e and I have to say that it's coped admirably. It handled the new Xcom well, it's absolutely fine with all of the older Total War games and I recently got through Stalker (Complete) without any worries about performance. I think you just have to be realistic - I wouldn't try to play Battlefield 3 on my lappy, but for older or slower paced games it's amazingly good.
true_gamer 28th May 2013, 15:58 Quote
Also what people don't realise, a laptop CPU will only boost on one core. So when it says turbo frequency of upto 3.8GHz etc, it is only on one core.

Only on laptops that allow you to overclock the CPU, can you set every core to boost at those frequency's.

My old 3720QM had a boost of upto 3.6GHz - (On one core) But because Intel lock the CPU's multi on the non XM editions, I could only max that CPU out at 3.8GHz on all cores. The 3920XM was completely unlocked, so you could try any clock speed, if your cooling was up to it.
The other problem with overclocking on laptops, is not having advance setting to adjust the vcore, etc. So you are very limited.
My 3920XM would boot at 4.5GHz, but because I had no control over the vcore, I could only use the basic settings, which limited the vcore to 1.34v, so 4.2GHz was the max stable overclock I could get, which to be fair, 4.2GHz on all 8 threads out of a laptop, and on a 330W PSU, with 2 power hungry HD7970M, just goes to show how optimal and efficient laptops really are. :)
DbD 28th May 2013, 16:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by true_gamer
Also what people don't realise, a laptop CPU will only boost on one core. So when it says turbo frequency of upto 3.8GHz etc, it is only on one core.

i7-3740QM which is the cpu they should have tested with (as it's a relatively inexpensive i7) has a base clock of 2.7, can boost all 4 cores to 3.5, 2 cores to 3.6 and 1 core to 3.7. It has a cpu mark of 8558 (desktop i7-3770K is only 9609).

Basically it's as close as doesn't matter to any non oc desktop i7. Hence blog above is basically wrong - the desktop chips are only really faster if you over clock.
chrisb2e9 1st June 2013, 07:27 Quote
What i hate is when someone tells me that their phone is as fast as a computer...
Stanley Tweedle 1st June 2013, 13:13 Quote
Yes, the mobile CPU naming is deliberately misleading. An i5 mobile cpu laptop for below £500 and people might think they're getting something similar to a desktop i5. I dislike laptops quite a bit actually. My iPad 4th gen runs games better than a £500 laptop.
leexgx 1st June 2013, 23:29 Quote
on the intel side its quite hard to buy an slow laptop unless you buy a AMD laptop as unlike Intel, AMD allow an low end netbook CPUs into an full size laptops (the amd C G Z E E2 so on type CPUs) whereas Intel do not (ATOM CPUs)

even a celeron intel CPU is just an cut down sandy bridge cpu now, so its fast enough for basicly most tasks

most AMD based low end laptops seem to use the AMD E (bobcat) type CPUs they are a utter fail of an CPU to use and are on par/worse than a intel ATOM CPU, they are far slower then an core2duo so in most cases they are upgrading from an old laptop to an new laptop that is slower than their old laptop (as 5 of my customers have found out only 2 could take them back as they had them for more then 14/30 days)
Yslen 2nd June 2013, 17:45 Quote
I love my E450 laptop. More than enough grunt for what I want to use an 11'' laptop for (writing, browsing, note taking etc) plus 8-10 hour battery life.

Its much quicker than all but the latest gen atom, by the way. The gpu helps!
Makaveli 6th June 2013, 23:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by true_gamer
I'm sorry, but this is crap...

I did many test with my 3920XM in my Alienware laptop, and it destroy a desktop 2600K easily. It was on par with a desktop 3770K.

The proof is in the pudding...

My thread

http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/2019601
hamza_tm 14th July 2013, 16:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
considering the performance you can get on a laptop these days if your willing to spend the cash its easily possible to get desktop level of performance.

sli 680m with top end intel cpu is faster than 90% of the people on here probably have.

Considering most sigs here portray at least a 2500k?

Edit: Oh you probably mean those uber extreme 3920XM's and whatnot
LightningPete 15th July 2013, 14:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
considering the performance you can get on a laptop these days if your willing to spend the cash its easily possible to get desktop level of performance.

sli 680m with top end intel cpu is faster than 90% of the people on here probably have.

My Q6600 clocked at 3.2Ghz and GTX285 Clocked upto 725mhz core begs to differ on that quoted laptop. and my Cpu and Gpu are a few years old now.
LightningPete 15th July 2013, 14:10 Quote
[QUOTE=hamza_tm]
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo

Edit: Oh you probably mean those uber extreme 3920XM's and whatnot

Even then a laptop wouldnt beat a i5 2500K though... never seen any that have yet
No1Spank 3rd January 2014, 20:42 Quote
I buy a new laptop every 5 or 6 years with a reasonable spec. My pentium 3 1.1ghz laptop was far more powerful than lower clocked p3 desktops I tried and would have been about the same as a 1.1 desktop.
I had a 1.6ghz core duo and that was more or less the same performance (I did a bit of benching) as the same speed core duo desktops I had.
I've been benching my Ivy bridge i5 against my current desktops. It is only clocked at 1.7ghz but it beats my 4.6ghz FX-6300 in some benches.
The graphics are actually even better than I expected as well allowing me to play all but the most demanding games at good levels.
Best place to check specs is on an enthusiast site like HWbot where its all about the performance comparisons.
To be fair though an i5 laptop is really only an i3 an i7 laptop is only an i5. Other than that clock for clock of the same gen there won't be a lot in it. If you want to play games or do anything at the top level a desktop is king because only they can have the best components, but a laptop is a good sub for a mediocre desktop.
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